Silver Surfer: Tainting Eden Chapter 1
Written by WarlorTVor, Edited by James
Continues from Silver Surfer: Playing God, a story by Rick Lundeen set in the future, where the Silver Surfer must sacrifice his freedom and become Galactus' herald once more to save a planet named Elysia. Click here to read it.
I watch in silence, as yet another world started to break apart in a wall of flaming power cosmic, in much the same way I had a hundred-fold time before. The sight is not a reassuring one, needless to say, even if the world was not populated by any life forms, intelligent or otherwise. The drama unfolds as it was destined to, with nothing preventing its ultimate conclusion, which was oblivion's embrace, and then I truly contemplate the happenings before me. And then, and only then, I find myself unmoved by what was happening to the unnamed world that only appeared on my master's star-grids as World: HF-42-Beta.
I watched in a state of unrelenting contentment on the events that were taking place before me. The once lush green land masses of this blue orb started to churn and roar in its death throws'. The world's water, which was by my estimates more than 92% of the total mass of the planet, started to boil over as the wall of pure power cosmic passed over it. Wave after wave of roaring water violently crashed upon the shores of the small patches of land that sprinkled the world, as if that would some how ward off the fate that has fallen upon the entire planet. And everything on it was turned into nothing more than molecules of energy to the highest degree, ready to be consumed by my master. Beside me and watching the happenings of this world with even more dispassion than I, stood my master, Galactus, the devourer of worlds. His arms were raised in victory, energy crackled from every where all at once, as the world in a small star system turned into a sphere of pure golden and orange power, that was a flame. The power started to churn before us, casting brilliant streaks of light that danced upon us as if to some unheard death march. And then slowly the energy that had once been World: HF-42-Beta was absorbed into the form that is Galactus.
I turned my head to face Galactus for a moment or two, blue streaks of energy started to burn brightly from the corner of his eyes. I remember sighing heavily, then turning my head in order to survey my surroundings in great detail.
Flanking me on either side is a stretch of the cosmos that has been coined the Typhon Expanse, an area of space that I had frequently passed in my travels but not once venturing into for some unknown reason. It was not until that day, the day that I actually stood in the midst of the expanse of plasma storms and nebula, that I understood why it was coined such a name.
For a Typhon, at least in human lure, was a mythical monster of sorts, a beast by all accounts. From countless tomes and religious texts that I had encountered during my exile upon that earth by Galactus after my betrayal, I came to understand the monster possessed a tremendous voice that froze the blood of man within its very veins. It was also said that this being, at least according to classical mythology was father of Cerberus, the Chimera, and even the Sphinx. But I never gave much thought to why this area of space was called the Typhon Expanse, even after I learned the origin of the name. Why it was named such a thing? What could have possessed the discoverer of this region of space to name it after such a monster?
At first I merely discarded it as being a morbid fascination with mythological beasts that were thought to destroy the earth, but now that I stood within the very soul of the expanse it came to me. There was no name more fitting - to the best of my knowledge - for this part of the cosmos that was plagued by plasma storms that tore away at the very fabric of space. For it truly was a monster. Swirls of crimson red gas, that reminded me for some strange reason of human blood, was entangled around swirls of more gas that admitted hues of green and blue. It seemed as if the entire expanse was caught up in itself, in the throws of ecstasy that was never dying. Within the hues of blood red, green and blue flash of light crackled in a roar of death and destruction. And perhaps, for a lesser being, I suppose that the sound of the power that crackled within the swirls of gas could have frozen one's blood within their veins.
Then, without preamble, I hear a voice calling out for me.
"Norrin Radd," the voice pleaded out to me, filtering through the roar that are the storms within the plasma storms. And for a moment or two, in my state of utter confusion, it seemed as if the words were coming from no where, and yet everywhere, all at once. How is this possible? I remember musing to myself, my head shacking from side to side. After all, sound was not possible to travel through the void of the cosmos, since it was a vacuum and no sound was able to penetrate that vacuum. Of course, there are exceptions to every "rule" and this was no exception, since Cosmic Beings such as myself and Galactus, had the ability to be heard in spite of what was once thought to be a constant. But even in light of that fact, the idea of a voice that was calling out to me in the depths of space, its owner no where to be seen, was still an unsettling feeling. But then, and only then, I took note of it! The voice! I had heard it before! Many a time in fact, in my longing waking hours, and in the times that I allowed my mind to stray! It was the voice of
"Shalla-Bal!" I cried out, tears welling up in my eyes.
"Norrin Radd, my beloved," the voice repeats itself, with no affection to it, the warmth that had burned so brightly was no more, it was as if it was only an echo of the voice of the woman that I had loved and lost so long ago. Then the voice changed. "Norrin Radd, my soul-mate," the voice called out, whereas the first voice seemed to be a void of emotion this one was filled with passion and had a longing undertone to it. It was the voice of Alicia Masters! The only woman who even though she was blinded physically, was able to show me how I was blinded spiritually, and was able to show a side of humanity that I was not even aware of existed. I soared forward for a moment, as if to head of into the direction of where I thought was coming from, only to have my name repeated once more from a different direction! This time the voice was much older than the previous two, and was masculine in bravado and tambour, the words carried firmness, yet also wisdom at the same time. The tone of voice was much lower than the first two, and I recognized it without a moment's delay as being that of the voice of a dear friend who had passed a way a few decades ago, the voice of Bahrnul*. "Norrin Radd, my friend," the voice said.
(*See Silver Surfer: Playing God, the story which this one follows.)
"What is going on here?" I asked, my voice low and throaty.
Then the visions of a world far from this corner of the cosmos flooded my mind. Images of a far-flung mountain range that encompassed the serene view of crops that were gently being titillated by a cool zephyr that washed over all things. Of children playing in the hay, merging from mounds of it and rolling onto the hard ground, laughter filled the air. And the sweet, sweet song of a mother's love carried on a faint breeze, as she places her young infant to rest for a time, her smile of brilliant white light beaming down upon the infant, who has already lapsed into slumber, and even then the song continues onward. Then all of that is no more, washed away, and I find myself watching an event that I had seen many years ago, when I was standing upon a porch, it played out much the same way it had then. An alut, the same one that I had seen all those years ago, once again scampers by, chasing its prey. The alut stayed its distance from where I stood stoic, not about to interfere in the natural development of this world, as I would have done before before she was taken from me. I once again see it stalking a small gjott, plucking it off the tree limb it had landed on. The gjott had no idea what so ever that its time had come but the end was merciful, for as soon as it had happened the small melodrama passed. It was a prime example of survival of the fittest, but why was it visiting my mind's eye now? It did not make any sense! Why was I having visions of Elysia? Nothing made sense! Then one more image flooded my mind, it was the green and blue sphere of Elysia, behind it was the backdrop of space, with twinkling lights glittering the night sky, and then I saw it move! A hand, dark red, the hand of the devil, moved closer and closer to the world, its long fingers slowly rolled open and it started to move ever so closer to the world, until it was in its palm. Elysia was completely encased in a shadow of darkness, and then the fingers started to close in around it, slowly, until the entire sphere was forever gone, lost within the palm of the devil. A dark laughter filled the void, as the fingers started to contract in on itself.
Bahrnul's hushed tone came to me once more. "Norrin Radd, please aid us, you are our only help. My friend please I implore you " Then the voice and all the images were no more, nothing but a disturbing memory that still does not fade to this day. I stood there for a moment or two, taken aback, absolutely unprepared for what he had just experienced.
"IT IS DONE!" Galactus cried out. I turn and sure enough the planet simply known as HF-42-Beta was no where to be seen, consumed by my master. I turned to my master, then turned away, staring into the direction of where Elysia's sun burned in the distance, light years away. I started in that direction, only to be stopped by the booming voice of my master, Galactus. "You seem to want to depart in great haste, my herald. To where may I inquire?"
I said nothing.
There must have been something burning in my eyes, I suppose. Passion, perhaps; determination, plausible. But I do not know what exactly happened in that moment, even to this moment I am still unaware of what transpired between myself and my master. It was as if a conversation passed between us, a conversation that not even I knew, fully, what was being said, if anything at all. All I had was a feeling, that Galactus was able to peer into my soul and see something, that even I was not aware of its presence. For no reason at all, Galactus, the mighty world devourer, turned his back upon me and started to head toward Worldship, not a word of protest uttering from his lips.
I nodded, not turning back to face my master.
Then once again, I swirled around where Elysia's position in the sea of stars would be, and I headed toward the world in a blur. The stars once nothing more than twinkling points in the majestic darkness of the void turned into streaks of multiple colored light lapping over one another.
Thank you for reading the first chapter of Silver Surfer: Tainting Eden. The story continues in Chapter 2. Be sure to go read Silver Surfer: Playing God, the story which precedes this one. And please leave your feedback below or e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org